While accepting the honour at the ceremony at the House of Commons in Westminster, in front of MPs, Lords and luminaries from the pub industry, the group was roundly praised by the judges for helping to halve the number of crimes in licensed premises.
Charles Ireland, general manager of Diageo Great Britain, Ireland and France, said the judges were particularly impressed by the scheme’s holistic approach and partnership working.
Romford’s work with local police, medics and efforts to fund local street pastors was also highlighted, alongside a joined-up ID scanning machine and online messaging initiative that has helped communicate and administer a banning scheme.
Ireland said: “Romford Town Pubwatch is a relatively new scheme, established to empower local licensees within the busy night-time economy to have a unified and independent voice.
“I was hugely impressed by the work undertaken by Romford Town that has had such a positive impact in reducing crime amongst member organisations’ premises.”
Highly commended honours were bestowed on the Plymouth and Windsor Pubwatch groups, with Plymouth praised for its collaborative approach to tackling alcohol-related crime across member venues, and Windsor congratulated for the training it has provided to its member venues.
Graham Tuach, chairman of Romford Town Pubwatch, said: “I am really proud to receive this award, which recognises the achievements of Romford Town Pubwatch. We have a fantastic professional partnership with the police and council and our members have worked hard to develop a safer night-time environment for all to enjoy. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to showcase our work at such a great event.”
National Pubwatch chairman Steve Baker added: “Our finalists have yet again demonstrated that local Pubwatch schemes are working extremely hard to make licensed premises a safe and secure environment to work and socialise.”
Ireland added: “At Diageo, the on-trade is a crucial part of our business and we recognise its vital contribution to the night-time economy, as well as to the role it plays within the community and the wider society to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
“That is why we are proud supporters of this year’s award and commend all the good work it has done so far.”
Now in its sixth year, the Diageo National Pubwatch Awards continue to champion the work of local Pubwatch schemes throughout the UK and their efforts to provide safe drinking environments for customers and staff in all licensed premises.